Untangling the wrangling angle

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

I’ll wait for the 5.5 year retrospective post to see just how much grant writing you *didn’t* get involved in… ;)

Thus spake the prophet Wintle in the year 2012, upon learning that I was starting a new job that would, in my words, “be somewhat similar to my current one, but with much more emphasis on project management and much less on writing grants”.

Well, he was WRONG! Wrong wrongity wrong.

It took 10 months, not 5.5 years.

Due to some changes in my team, I was asked in April to add “PI support” (grant wrangling, plus management of small- and medium-scale projects) for one of our bioinformatics PIs to my existing duties. I’d just literally that very week thought “I feel like I’m finally on top of things in my new role”, so of course I said yes (actually, I’d also thought “and now that I’m finally on top of things, I feel less busy than I think I should be”, so the change was genuinely welcome).

I’ve said before that I feel like a bit like a freak for actually enjoying grant writing (even some members of my current team think this is weird). However, I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed it until I was back in the middle of wrangling my first full application. My supervisor helped me identify part of the reason I like it so much: everyone’s pulling in the same direction, and focusing on the same thing. It can sometimes be hard to get a PI’s or other contributors’ attention on a long-term project, but when there’s a deadline, everyone’s priorities suddenly align. Grant writing also plays to my strengths; I’m better at writing, editing, and proofing than I am at some other aspects of long-term project management (how many errors will you spot in this blog post now that I’ve written that? In my defense, it’s been a long day that started with a 6:30 am teleconference). It helps that I’m working with a PI who’s doing some very cool (and diverse) research, a good writer, appreciative of my contributions, and not averse to having a bit of fun with his science.

Related to the latter point, I am now also the OAG (official acronym generator) for the bioinformatics research group. I seem to have a knack for it, and will share some of my favourites as soon as they’re published or otherwise released into the public domain… hopefully on the CIHR or NIH “funded grants” description page…

Granted (heh), after submitting five full applications between September 15th and (hopefully) tomorrow, the thrill of being back in the grant wrangling saddle has faded a leeetle, but I have a vacation coming up soon to recharge my batteries.

Oh, and the science tamagotchi husbandry effect is once more in play but hey, I’m used to that. And did I mention vacation? Soon?

I have a guest post up on the Research Whisperer site today about grant writing as a career, if you’d like to know more

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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3 Responses to Untangling the wrangling angle

  1. Hah. I [redacted] you [redacted].

    That is all.

  2. bean-writer says:

    Congrats on enjoying your return to grant wrangling! I liked the writing and editing, too, so you’re the only one (don’t know if I could deal with all the “wrangling,” though.)

    And a nicely written guest post on the Research Whispering =)